New York.. Oh how I loved thee!

Last week my best friend in the world treated me to 4 day of fun and an escape from reality.  She took me to New York City, the Big Apple.. the city that never sleeps.  Some place I have always dreamed of going, but believing I would never get to.  Last Monday we loaded the truck and headed off to have our adventure.  Our first stop along the way was in Philadelphia!  As her and I are true foodies, we had to decide for ourselves which had the better cheese steak sandwich, Pats or Geno’s.

Geno’s won hand’s down!   The bread was buttery and soft, the cheese gooey, the meat was tender.  Oh we enjoyed every single bite of them.  I even have a “grease” stain on my pants from where it drained through the paper towels!   Now that’s how you know it’s good!

After she navigated through those extremely tiny car filled claustrophobic one way streets we were back on the highway heading north… singing “In west Philadelphia born and raised.. on the playground is where I spent most of my days”…  C’mon now, y’all sing it with me.  You know the words.

After several hours we made it to our hotel in New Jersey and I have to say… omg what a dump.  We couldn’t help but laugh!  The beds were hard as the ground, the carpet was obviously the same carpet they put in when they built the hotel and it has NEVER been cleaned.  The outlet in the bathroom didn’t work which meant no hair dryer because that was bolted to the wall in the bathroom.  The toilet had those stains down the sides that you could tell were not hard water stains.  Yeah, it was bad, but that’s okay because we didn’t plan on being in the room much.  We got there later in the afternoon so we figured we’d save Manhattan for Tuesday and instead decided to head to Carlo’s Bakery in Hoboken New Jersey.  12923187_10153333752425870_2609251800372207978_n

If you ever get the chance to go to one of his shops… go!  The Lobster Claw is to die for!  We got Lobster Claws, Cookies, an Eclair (there were 3 of us), a Macaroon… And we gobbled every bit up!  Yeah, we are greedy.  We spent the evening in the room, enjoying our goodies and chatting.. the excitement growing for NYC the next day.  I was finally going to see the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island and who knew what else.

Tuesday morning found us up and on the way to Liberty State Park where we caught the Ferry to Ellis Island then over to the Statue of Liberty.

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Words cannot do justice the emotions that come over you seeing lady liberty in all her glory in person.

Yup, that’s me with the New York Skyline behind me ( I have no clue who the rugrat is, he photo bombed my pic).  There was the Statue of Liberty.  I’d seen her a million times in movies and photos but never in person.  She is stunning!  Walking through the inside, seeing the different things inside, how she stands.. just amazing.  We didn’t have the crown pass so we only got to go to the platform.  After touring around we hopped on to the New York Ferry and headed over to NYC.  It was so cold, and so windy but that wasn’t going to stop us.  After a few minutes we were in New York.  I couldn’t believe it.  Me, standing in New York’s Financial District.  After a few moments of walking we saw the Raging Bull.  I wanted to get my picture with it but there was a very long line and frankly, it was cold and we didn’t want to wait.  We made our way up to the 9/11 Memorial.  You can feel the pain, the fear.  The tears fall no matter how hard you try to hold them in.  You find yourself hurting for thousands you never even knew.  Knowing so many are reposed behind a wall because they could not be identified is truly heartbreaking.

After seeing the memorial then the Museum we realized we needed to head towards the ferry to make our way back to the car, problem was it was now 7:30 and the water taxi’s stopped at 5:15.  Oh the fun we had trying to figure out the subway system to get us to the metro to take us to the Path Train so we could get on the light rail.  Then when we FINALLY make it to the train platform in Jersey… but our car is about 2 miles away!  AND WE ARE OFF.. 3 women in the dark trying to find our way to the park to get to the car before the park closes.  LOL.  My best friend has an oxygen tank but that did not stop her from almost out right running to make it on time!  Somehow she managed to get to the car in time and we headed back to the hotel.  By this time all we had to eat was Subway.. yes, we make it all the way to NY and we eat Subway.

The next morning we all get up and head back into the city!  This time parking at the train platform so we had until 11:59 pm to make our way back.  Plenty of time!  We decide to go uptown this day, check out the Museum section of the city.  Our first stop was the Guggenheim.  If that is your idea of “art” then I can honestly say I don’t understand you at all.  This museum was less then interesting to say.

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After our pretty much run through of this waste of our time museum we decided to head up to the Met.  Now this is a Museum.  It’s absolutely stunning!  I wanted to spend days in it.  I could spend days in it.  I want to go back and see every single piece of art in there.  I stood in awe of some of the most amazing art pieces in the world.  Before we made it to the Met we stopped by Central Park to take a quick picture.  You can’t go to NYC and not at least see Central Park, right?  We didn’t go through it because there just wasn’t enough time to do it all.  Before we crossed over to the park my bestie made me try a New York Hot Dog…..

 

Now to understand this you must understand that I a) do not like Hot Dogs and b) am disgusted at the thought of hotdogs sitting around in nasty water all day long.. but when in Rome.. so here we are.. me holding it getting ready to try it.. and me trying very hard to not gag and throw it up… lol.  She made me eat that bite!  So gross.. she however enjoyed the rest of it.

12963396_10153333767915870_786553458625323806_n She loved it!  🙂

 

Off to Central Park…

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Now the Met!  There’s no slowing down in NYC.. even for someone using a cane and someone with an oxygen tank.  Okay, so we walked slowly… but that doesn’t slow the city down.  This is so beautiful…

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After the met we hopped on a bus and headed up to the Empire State Building.  WOW.. what a beautiful building.  When we got to the top one side was nice.. the other two were so cold!  The wind was blowing so hard you could almost be blown over.

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After this we hopped on a subway and headed to Time Square.  This was everything I’ve ever imagined.  The lights, the smells, the sounds.. the PIZZA.. the people.. It’s everything TV has made it out to be. Famous Ray’s Pizza.. yeah.. I’m going back there one day!

Believe it or not… we ended up doing a mad dash to find the right train to make it back in time again..lol.  Making it back at 11:56 pm!  Three minutes to spare!  We laughed so much our stomachs hurt!  I had a true NY experience.  The only thing I didn’t see, was a NY rat.. you always see them on TV.  We didn’t see one!  We got in a pee soaked elevator, twice.  We had Pizza and  Hot Dog, saw the sights… but nope.. no rats.

Thursday had us exhausted and hardly able to walk!  Our feet hurt, our backs hurt.. everything hurt! Sleeping on those hard mattresses didn’t help at all.  We decided to just take our time going home instead of going back into the city then trying to find our way back home.  Of course we had to stop back by Carlo’s Bakery, ya know get some goodies for the road and some cupcakes for the kids.  We laughed and enjoyed our slow ride home..

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TWINS!!!  She is my sister.. my best friend.. my soul mate (in friends).. I thank God for her every day… She’ll never know just how thankful I am for her.. for her friendship and her love… she’s my anchor when my waters are rough.. my sunshine when it rains…and my blanket when I’m cold.  I love her and.. I LOVE NEW YORK!!!  I can’t wait to get back!

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Cruisin to the Bahamas’

My darling husband told me that I should write about my trip to the Bahamas’ for y’all.  I started to ask a smart ass question, “which time” lol, but I knew which time he was referring too so I’m going to tell you about my graduation gift, my cruise.

It was a 4 day 3 nights Carnival Cruise that my mom got me for graduating high school.  My friend Shawna and I went together.  Oh Lord help the poor people on that ship, 2 happy horny 18 year olds alone and unsupervised and allowed to drink!  It started on a hot July Friday morning in Florida.  We were up with the sun, packed and ready to go.  We drove to the local Kmart to meet the charter bus that was going to take us to the Cape to get on the ship.  We were so excited we forgot to eat breakfast, and um lunch.  That’s an important piece of information to know for later.  We get to the ship around 2 in the afternoon and get on board leaving our luggage and heading for the bar!  We were told that the minute we hit the boat’s floor we were on international water and back then 18 was legal drinking age on international waters.  Hello alcohol!

Now as I mentioned we did not eat all day, and it was hot as hell out.  Mix that in with the several Budweisers I drank and the horrendous storm that rolled in as we shipped out, well sea sickness hit me!  I’d been on boats every weekend practically growing up and I never ever got sea sick.  I wasn’t drunk yet so it wasn’t that.  All I remember is that ship just rocking back and forth something fierce.  It got so bad the tug boat turned around and left before we were even out at sea.  I got 4 motion sickness pills from the steward and crashed by 7.  What a freaking bummer, but man I couldn’t take that feeling!

it’s 4 in the afternoon

This stupid picture would not load correctly.. sorry you have to turn your head!

We got up the next morning in the Bahamas’.  EVERY freaking man on that ship asked me how I was feeling and if I was feeling better.  Apparently my travel mate made the rounds the night before and let everyone know I was sick and in bed.  Gee, thanks Shawna!  So we get off the ship and there are protestors and people trying to braid our hair and people trying to get us to take a ride in their cabs and so on.  As we are walking to the main streets we see a statue of the Queen.  I tell Shawna to take a picture of the statue and I said “Don’t cut off the Queen’s head”.  Needless to say they residents of the island were not happy with my comment and made it clear that her and I needed to run quickly!  Below is the picture, and yes she cut off the Queens head!

Off with her head!

We spent the day walking, and walking, and walking, and shopping, and walking.. oh and did I mention we walked?  We walked the entire friggin island.  Seriously, we never took a cab, we walked everywhere.  We got back to the ship around 5 to drop off all we had bought, shower and change and hit the island up for the night life.  We met up with two guys who I only remember one of their names, it was Joe.  They were 18 and on the cruise for their graduation gift too, so obviously we hit off with them.  We decided to walk to the beach to this little bar we had seen earlier in the day.  As we are walking through the city I see the BIGGEST fucking roach ever!  It was bigger then my foot. If you know me, you know I’m terrified of bugs, especially roaches.  I screamed, Shawna screamed, the guys laughed and we took off running.  We made it to the beach in record time, lol.  We hung out and drank and danced and had a ball.  We had to be back on the ship by 10 pm and we made it with just moments to spare.  There was no way in hell I was going to sleep that night away so we hit the music bar where the bartender there fell in love with me!  I never paid for a drink, and lord did I drink.  “Here Shan, try this grasshopper, try this pink squirrel, try this naked lady”… I tried every drink on the menu.  My friends weren’t too happy that they were paying for theirs but too bad.  Shawna left to go up on the deck and was followed by the guy I don’t remember his name.  I to this day have no clue what they did the rest of the night.  Joe and I hung out at the bar laughing and drinking.  Joe trying harder and harder every time the bartender talked to me, me knowing neither of them stood a chance as my Aunt Flo had come to visit me earlier that day.  Let me tell you how fun it was buying pads in the Bahamas’.  You cant just go to the store, pick up the box and take it to the register, no.. EVERYTHING was behind glass cases so you had to ask the guy who could barely understand you for them loudly as the store was packed. Oh what fun that was.  Finally I stumbled back to the room around the time the sun was coming up.

The next day was a day of leisure.  We sailed towards home so slowly there wasn’t even a breeze.  There were no clouds, nothing but blue skies and blue ocean waters.  I laid out at the pool with Shawna for an hour or so but I figured, WTH am I doing?  I can go poolside whenever I want, I can’t drink or gamble whenever I want.  So you guessed it.  I hit the casino first.  I dropped about $50 and decided it was time to leave.  So I walked around and did some shopping on the ship.  I bought a bottle of Tequila to take home with me as I could legally take 1 bottle only!  Then I hit the music bar, and yay, my guy was there, and happy to see me. I wish I could remember his name too, not because I’d like to find him but because the fact I’m forgetting names and faces is making me feel old as hell.  Sunday night was the Captain’s dinner night.  It was the only night, in fact the only time we ate on the ship.  The dinner was amazing, the waiters put on quite the show.  The table we were at had us sitting with 3 couples, all who got married on the same day at the same time and took the same cruise for their honeymoon and all had cabins next to each other.  Weird huh?  Sunday night had us dancing and drinking and drinking, oh and drinking some more.  Now the bad part was we had to be up and out of our cabin by 8 am.  We didn’t get back to the cabin until after 4 am.  By now you all know me and know my brain never stops, so I jump up thinking it was after 8, get her up we get showered and dressed and out the door leaving our suitcases where we were suppose too, get upstairs to find… it’s only 6:30am!!!  Oy vey.  Then like 2 hours later I realized that I packed my embarrassingly bought pads and had none with me for the trip home.  I go to find my suitcase and it’s gone, they’ve already taken them off.  The hunt is on.  It takes me almost an hour to track them down and get them out.  SHIPS ARE FREAKING HUGE.  I get back upstairs to find Joe and the other guy there and we are all sleeping at the tables waiting to dock.

A passed out me! (honestly I don’t know why my pictures won’t load correctly)

We give the guy’s our goodbyes and get on our charter home.  We make it back to the Kmart at around 1 and we are starving.  We’ve realized that we didn’t eat but 2 times the whole time we were gone.  We stopped at the Pizza Hut that was right there by the Kmart and ordered a large pizza and devoured it!  I mean the 2 of us ate the entire pizza, not leaving even crumbs.  If we weren’t so exhausted we may have ordered a second one.  We made it back to my home and both of us hit my bed and slept!  My mom woke Shawna up at some point because her mother had called looking for her to make sure we made it home safely and she went home.  I slept peacefully until the next morning!  When I weighed myself the next morning I had lost 10lbs in one weekend.  I’m the only person I know who can go on a cruise with all that food and lose weight, oh well a good time was had by all, except maybe my liver.